Today kicked off my first official training run for my next marathon…the Rome Marathon. After a very eventful first marathon experience in Chicago I knew I better pick a dozy of a follow-up.
I had a little help from my side-kick hubby when he suggested we run it “together” while visiting the city for our 5th wedding anniversary. At first I was a little scared, but the image of us running all 26.2 miles together through the greatest city on earth (at least in my eyes) was too good to pass up. My worries were quickly squashed when we agreed that this run was simply for fun. Chris will be doing a lot of bobbing and weaving while taking pictures of the run and I will set out on another conservative pace to enjoy the experience. With that in agreement today marked the beginning of my 12 week training plan.
Originally I had planned to have a few weeks of base building leading up to the start, but a few weeks off were required to attend to another issue of shin splints. The plan will still be to step things up though a tad from my first marathon training plan.
This is a 12 week plan peaking at 45 miles with two 20 mile runs, and one mid-week run that is between 8-10 miles. In addition, my average pace is likely to be 30-45 secs faster for a vast majority of my run than what I experienced over the summer due to the heat. Due to recovering from shin splits I stopped my tempo runs (which I was doing once a week), instead I have replaced it with half mile hill repeats (between 6-10% incline…it burns). I will likely keep that up through the first month while I insure I have made it safely into my mileage with no injuries.
After Chicago I knew I had a few training areas I felt confident I could increase on right away. First was overall mileage, which my initial plan was to peak at 50 miles. Because I got shin splints that took several weeks of base building out I had to water that down to 45 miles, but that is still up by 5 miles on both my peak mileage and my average mileage from my Chicago plan. The next major hurdle was introducing a medium-long run into my weekly schedule. For me it seems impossible at a 10 min pace to be able to fit in a 12 mile run before or after work. In addition, I wasn’t even running 8 mile mid-week runs during my Chicago training (although I was supposed to). So this time around I have a partner in crime that agreed to dedicating one day a week to running between 8-10 miles. This gives me at least two runs a week on my feet for over an hour. Now granted the first 2 weeks of the training plan calls for 7 miles, but that was still a little over an hour of running. My goal is more time on my feet multiple days of the week. Combine that with one workout a week, which right now will be the hill repeats and I have my new training plan.
Obviously it is nothing hardcore like my super human running pals that follow Daniels, Pfitz or their own coaches. I do think this is a safe step up from my last approach which was as simple as they come. Overall I think it has a good balance and should likely produce some improvements in my running without burning me out. Oh and heck this marathon is not about a goal time…it’s about the once in a lifetime opportunity I have to run next to my inspiration, rock and best friend.